Would-be tourists are being urged not to travel to the Lakes or other Cumbrian holiday destinations as the county urges people to follow Government advice aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus.
Now that pubs, restaurants, cafes and non-essential shops and visitor attractions have been advised to close, the Lake District is no longer conducting business as usual.
Whilst it is encouraging that the Highways Agency have reported fewer vehicle journeys than normal, it is clear that we, along with other tourist areas such as Cornwall, Wales and Scotland, are continuing to experience an influx of travelling visitors.
The message comes from Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Slattery, the Chair of the Cumbria Local Resilience Forum – which is responsible for the multi-agency response to civil emergencies – and follows the Government steps taken yesterday to reduce the spread of coronavirus by closing businesses such as pubs, cafes and gyms.
He said: “Whilst we are looking at all measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, I must urge people living outside the county not to visit. A national emergency shut-down of businesses and schools is not an excuse for a holiday.
“Cumbria County Council yesterday urged people to stay at home as far as possible to protect out NHS and save lives. I reiterate that advice and it is important that we all follow it.
“The health, social care and emergency services in Cumbria are resourced to serve the 500,000 resident population and will be stretched to breaking point by this crisis. Large numbers of visitors will only place an additional burden on these hard-pushed professionals.
“People are safest and their health and that of their families is best protected by staying at home and heeding advice on social distancing.
“These are unprecedented times and our first priority is the protection of life. People’s lives must come first.”